Glide through tree-lined waterways and relax in thermal pools, sample chocolate made from the world's best cacao and journey back in time with a native Quaker in Old Town Monteverde.
VIEW Arenal Volcano
VISIT Tortuguero National Park, Braulio Carillo National Park, Sarapiquí, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
CONNECT WITH LOCALS A special BBQ meal is prepared for you in Sarapiqui and you'll join Don Alberto and Doña Ana Quintana for a traditional Costa Rican lunch at their Hacienda Pozo Azul, a 2000-acre working ranch. (Days 4, 5)
DIVE INTO CULTURE Indulge in gourmet chocolate made from the world's best cacao beans. Visit a Tico family's palm plantation to learn about and sample the delicate heart of palm. (Days 2, 4)
LOCAL SPECIALIST Listen to a Quaker share stories of the beginning of Monteverde's colourful history. (Day 6)
MAKE A DIFFERENCE Visit the Quintana Family's Hacienda Pozo Azul and discover how they reduce their carbon footprint and support the local economy. (Day 5)
First Class Travel Highlights:
Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
Daily breakfast and an average of 50% of evening meals
Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
Rain ponchos provided for your use
Cherry-picked hotels all tried and trusted
Optional Experiences and free time
All porterage and local charges included
Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday
VIP entry to many sights
Arrive San José
Learn the secrets of Pura Vida - Costa Rica's inimitable zest for life that will linger throughout your effortlessly delivered encounter with a land that boasts no artificial ingredients. This evening, join your Travel Director and fellow expeditioners for a Welcome Reception.
San José – Braulio Carrillo National Park – Tortuguero National Park (2 Nights)
Journey to San Isidro de Heredia, where we'll 'Dive into Culture' with master chocolatiers, Julio Fernandez and George Soriano, to learn about the history of chocolate and how it is produced at this small workshop. Then, it's on to Siquirres where we'll embark on a river journey through protected wetlands to secluded Tortuguero. Immerse yourself in its vibrant Afro-Caribbean atmosphere as you stroll through the village streets. We enjoy dinner at our hotel this evening accompanied by the enchanting sounds of resident cicadas and tree frogs.
Tortuguero National Park Sightseeing
Cruise the canals and streams of the park today with a Local Specialist as howler monkeys watch from the treetops, toucans and egrets fly through the air and crocodiles ply the cool waters. Visit the Village of Tortuguero. If you are here between July and September, take an optional tour to see the sea turtles laying eggs on the beach.
Tortuguero – Sarapiquí
Bid adiós to Tortuguero and head back to the mainland where we'll enjoy lunch before meeting the Tico family for a 'Dive into Culture' experience at their palm plantation. There you'll learn about and sample the delicate heart of palm. Tonight you'll enjoy a 'Be My Guest' with the owners of your hotel, providing a 'Connect with Locals' experience, as they prepare a special BBQ meal just for you.
Sarapiquí – Arenal
Rise with the sun to get up close and personal with Costa Rica's exquisite nature during a leisurely hike. Keep a look out for the endangered great green macaw and connect with your beautiful natural surroundings. Embark on an optional rafting trip^ later this morning. We 'Connect with Locals' this afternoon, enjoying a 'Be My Guest' lunch at an eco-friendly hacienda built by the Quintana family as a retirement project. Today, it is home to an organic farm and related eco-adventures. 'Make a Difference' and learn how your visit contributes to the local community. Our journey continues to Arenal Volcano, on whose slopes we spend the afternoon relaxing in our resort's beautifully landscaped thermal pools.
Arenal – Monteverde Cloud Forest (2 Nights)
Our soul-stirring encounter with Costa Rica's natural wonders continues after a morning at leisure. Straddle the Continental Divide and touch the sky in Monteverde Cloud Forest, where you'll have an opportunity to explore this biodiverse sanctuary, renowned for its collection of orchid species - more than in any other single place. Tonight, we'll meet a native Quaker, and Local Specialist, who will share stories of Old Town Monteverde and delve into the history of the American Quakers who settled in the area in the 1950s. This evening, relish some of the best views as you enjoy dinner.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Sightseeing
This morning, join your guide for an excursion through the lush rainforests of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. We ascend to the treetops high above the jungle floor below, treading lightly along the Sky Walk^ suspension bridges amongst the wildlife that find sanctuary in the boughs of the surrounding canopy. As our epic eco-adventure nears its end, we share stories with newfound friends at a Farewell Dinner.
Monteverde – Depart Liberia or San José
For now it's a fond hasta luego to Costa Rica, but not goodbye. Transfer to either Liberia or San José International Airports or travel on to Guanacaste Beach for those extending their stay.